Male Priesthood


In Fr Corapi’s Catechism series he mentions in the section about Holy Orders that people are always asking him why only men can receive Holy Orders and in “the next hour” he’s going to go into detail on the issue and explain it once and for all so that he doesn’t have to keep going over it. Well, that particular “next hour” isn’t part of my CD set, much to my chagrin. He does briefly mention that whereas celibate priests are only current discipline and it is “theologically possible” to have married priests, women priests are “theologically impossible”. My question is what exactly does the Church teach concerning this? Why, in detail, does the Church teach that women can’t receive Holy Orders? Is this teaching immutable doctrine? If so, where is this teaching defined? My confessor doesn’t believe that female priests are “theologically impossible” as Fr Corapi puts it. Please help me out in this matter, feel free to be as detailed, technical, and obtuse as you need to be.

One more question. I’ve been introduced to the “doctrine ranking” system of theological notes. Does anyone know of a concise list of Catholic doctrine ordered by their theological notes? Thanks in advance and God bless to anyone who helps me!



Andrew… there are a ton of threads on this subject… do a search for them.

Women cannot be priests because as controversial as Jesus was, he chose only men as apostles not women. It is sacred Tradition that we do not have female priests… If he didn’t make his own mother one of his apostles, we can see that it was a job reserved for men and the apostles were the first priests afterall. To dismiss this from ever being an issue, pope JPII declared it an infallible teaching which settled it forever. As for married priesthood… yes there were married priests in the past and there is also now… that was/is a discipline and that can be changed.


This is the official Church teaching:

[quote="Ordinatio Sacerdotalis]4. Although the teaching that priestly ordination is to be reserved to men alone has been preserved by the constant and universal Tradition of the Church and firmly taught by the Magisterium in its more recent documents, at the present time in some places it is nonetheless considered still open to debate, or the Church’s judgment that women are not to be admitted to ordination is considered to have a merely disciplinary force.

Wherefore, in order that all doubt may be removed regarding a matter of great importance, a matter which pertains to the Church’s divine constitution itself, in virtue of my ministry of confirming the brethren (cf. Lk 22:32) I declare that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church’s faithful.



[quote=Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith]**
Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith

     **         October 28, 1995

     Dubium: Whether the teaching that the Church has no authority         whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women, which is presented in         the Apostolic Letter *Ordinatio Sacerdotalis* to be held         definitively, is to be understood as belonging to the deposit of faith.

Responsum: In the affirmative.
This teaching requires definitive assent, since, founded on the written Word of God, and from the beginning constantly preserved and applied in the Tradition of the Church, it has been set forth infallibly by the ordinary and universal Magisterium (cf. Second Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium 25, 2). Thus, in the present circumstances, the Roman Pontiff, exercising his proper office of confirming the brethren (cf. Lk 22:32), has handed on this same teaching by a formal declaration, explicitly stating what is to be held always, everywhere, and by all, as belonging to the deposit of the faith. [emphasis mine]


Hi Andrew,

The theology is clearly exposed above. Using an analogy, what would you say if someone asked : “Can I baptize wilth orange juice?” The answer would be clearly no. This is the way God has decided and, no matter how much respect I have for orange juice, I cannot use it to baptize. Ordination has always been conferred on males, and the Church could not “take a chance” on women, because there is nothing to authorize this. Perhaps God willed it because of the fact that the priest is acting as the person of Christ and Christ was a man.

Now was it unfair that Christ was a man? The second person of the Trilnity could have become incarnate as a woman, but God willed that it should be as a man. We do not question God.



The best explanation I’ve heard is in the context of the holy marriage between The Groom Jesus and His Bride/The Church.

A priest, who acts in persona christi, shares in Christ’s nuptial relationship with The Church. Effectively, the priest becomes the groom. And women can’t be priests because a woman can’t be a groom.

More info:


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